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Achieving the Mid-Century Strategy Goals for Deep Decarbonization in Agriculture and Forestry

Authors: Aashna Aggarwal, Danielle Arostegui, Kendall DeLyser, Bethany Hewett, Emily Johnson, and Alexander Rudee

The U.S. Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization, released in November 2016, calls for the United States to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. A significant portion of those reductions are to come from the forestry and agricultural sectors. Those reductions will be more difficult and more expensive to achieve if the current U.S. forest sink is not maintained and the greenhouse gas impacts of agriculture are not addressed. This working paper seeks to address those two tasks, first, by presenting a cost distribution of various climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices and an analysis of the geographic distribution of such activities in the United States, and second, by offering policy recommendations to achieve deep greenhouse gas reductions.


Carbon Market Cooperation in Northeast Asia: Assessing Challenges and Overcoming Barriers

Editor: Jackson Ewing

China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are emerging as major players in the global carbon trading landscape. As Northeast Asia's biggest industrial economies, these three countries are connected through deep commercial and trade ties, and shared environmental challenges. There are thus growing calls for these markets to manage differences to build a foundation for more extensive carbon market cooperation. This Asia Society Policy Institute report draws on the expertise of a wide range of scholars and practitioners to help equip policymakers and other stakeholders with information and guidance on the potential of and pathway toward carbon market linkage in Northeast Asia. This volume includes 11 chapters that examine the challenges of and approaches to carbon market cooperation and linkage in Northeast Asia.


Effects of Technology Assumptions on US Power Sector Capacity, Generation and Emissions Projections: Results from the EMF 32 Model Intercomparison Project

Authors: J.R. Creason, J.E. Bistline, E.L.Hodson, Brian C. Murray, and C.G. Rossmann

This article is one of two syntheses in a special issue in the journal Energy Economics on the EMF 32 study, a major modeling study of the electric power sector’s emissions in various policy intervention scenarios. This article focuses on the effects of technology and market assumptions with projections out to 2050. A total of 15 models contributed projections based on a set of standardized scenarios. The scenarios include a range of assumptions about the price of natural gas, costs of end-use energy efficiency, retirements of nuclear power, the cost of renewable electricity, and overall electricity demand. The range of models and scenarios represent similarities and differences across a broad spectrum of analytical methods.


The EMF 32 Study on Technology and Climate Policy Strategies for Greenhouse Gas Reductions in the U.S. Electric Power Sector: An Overview

Authors: Brian C. Murray, John Bistline, Jared Creason, Evelyn Wright, Amit Kanudia, and Franciscode la Chesnaye

This introduction to a special issue of Energy Economics presents the key findings of Energy Modeling Forum Model Inter-comparison Project Number 32 (EMF 32) entitled “The EMF 32 Study on Technology and Climate Policy Strategies for Greenhouse Gas Reductions in the U.S. Electric Power Sector.” This study focused on the development and cross-model comparison of results from U.S. climate policy intervention scenarios focusing on policy strategies for achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions in the electric power sector and the sensitivity of emissions and economic results to changes in technology and market assumptions. This overview article describes the motivation for the EMF 32 study, identifies the models used in the study, describes the study's scope and design, and reviews insights in the special issue's articles. A related article focuses on the effects of technology and market assumptions with projections out to 2050. 


Harnessing the Power of Data: Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative Conference

Authors: Hannah Girardeau, Jonathan Phillips, and Marc Jeuland

Energy developers, utilities, planners, and policy makers are often not equipped with the necessary tools to understand the changing landscape of energy delivery options and customer preferences. Researchers and grid operators are often restricted by outdated, unavailable, or biased data in the field. Through innovative methods and analytical tools, such as remote sensing, satellite imagery, and machine learning, data analytics are improving our understanding of energy demand in rural areas, customer needs and expectations, the local availability of energy resources, and the realities of providing electricity to underserved communities. These proceedings from the 2018 annual conference of the Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative present takeaways related to the conference's core theme of energy data analytics.


PURPA’s Midlife Crisis: Will Its 40th Birthday Be One of Fundamental Change?

Authors: Seth M. Yeazel

The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) has played a key role in the spread of independent power producers and the dislodgment of the classic monopoly utility model. Although drastic changes in the law appear unlikely at this point, some changes at the national level seem to be in the offing. This article in The Electricity Journal lays out the issues that could lead to changes.


Business Sector Action to Drive Carbon Market Cooperation in Northeast Asia

Editors: Jackson Ewing and Minyoung Shin

The expansion of carbon markets in China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have laid the foundation for discussions on potential carbon market cooperation within Northeast Asia, and the role of the private sector is vital for achieving success in this space, according to a new Asia Society Policy Institute and KPMG Samjong report. The authors present how carbon market linkage within China, Japan, and Korea could take place in unison with industry preferences.


Can a Modernized U.S. Development Finance Institution Help Close the Energy Financing Gap?

Authors: Jonathan Phillips, Hannah Girardeau, and Harry Masters

Government-sponsored development finance institutions (DFIs) have become key delivery mechanisms for poverty alleviation and the exercise of soft power. A reformed and fully equipped U.S. DFI would directly provide billions of dollars in additional energy sector investment and would catalyze many billions more in private investment. With earnest and bipartisan consensus building around U.S. development finance reform, this policy brief seeks to summarize the importance of energy sector finance in the context of development and foreign policy, to outline the energy financing gaps in emerging markets, and to analyze how the new tools and authorities proposed under the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (BUILD Act) legislation would equip the U.S. DFI to respond to those financing needs.


China’s New National Carbon Market

Authors: William A. Pizer and Xiliang Zhang

This article in the journal AEA Papers and Proceedings reviews the policy context and initial program design of China’s new national emissions trading system. It explains the design of China’s new carbon market, contrasts it with western markets, and highlights possible implications. The article reflects some of the findings in the working paper “China’s New National Carbon Market,” published by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.


Managing Dynamic Change in the Midwestern Power Sector: Power Shift Midwestern Regional Workshop

Authors: Kate Konschnik

Market-shifts, technological innovation, and clean energy policies are driving a fundamental transformation of the U.S. power sector. This proceedings describes four critical grid issues in the Midwest discussed at the Power Shift's Minnesota meeting: evolving stakeholder processes, power sector fleet transfer, the impact of electric cars on the grid, and responses to changing consumer demand. The range of potential research inspired by the discussion—including whether state regulatory processes help or hinder big shifts underway on the grid, how state climate goals affect regional generation patterns, how stakeholder processes and market trends interact, whether utilities should attempt to spark demand for electric vehicles, and whether customer demands or public policies are driving innovation—points to the sea change in the U.S. power sector.
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